Ron Blackwell is Chief Economist of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Unions (AFL-CIO) where he coordinates the economic agenda of the federation and represents the AFL-CIO on corporate and economic issues affecting American workers and union strategies. From 1996 to 2004, Ron was the director of the AFL-CIO Corporate Affairs Department.
Before coming to the AFL-CIO, Ron was assistant to the president of the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) and chief economist of UNITE. Before joining the labor movement, Ron was an academic dean in the Seminar College of the New School for Social Research in New York where he taught economics, politics and philosophy.
Ron represents the American labor movement on the Economic Policy Working Group of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD and participated in formulation of the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the recent review of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Ron serves on the board of directors of the Industrial Relations Research Association; the research advisory council of the Economic Policy Institute; the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design of The National Academies; the advisory boards of the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs and the International Center for Corporate Governance and Accountability at the George Washington University Law School; and the editorial boards of Perspectives on Work and the New Labor Forum.
Ron recently received the Nat Weinberg Award from the Walter P. Reuther Library for service to the labor movement and social justice. Ron is author of “Corporate Accountability or Business as Usual,” New Labor Forum (Summer 2003) and “Globalization and the American Labor Movement” in the book edited by Steve Fraser and Joshua Freeman, Audacious Democracy: Labor, Intellectuals and the Social Reconstruction of America. He is also co-editor of Worldly Philosophy: Essays in Political and Historical Economics, a Festschrift for Robert Heilbroner.